“I think that the best part of the User Group Community is the networking and collaboration with other professionals that also use SOLIDWORKS. The fact that I learn something new at every meeting that I attend is a testament to the value of the User Groups. “
Todd Blacksher is so deeply passionate about the SOLIDWORKS community, he and his wife, Jade, got married at SOLIDWORKS World 2006, so it makes sense that he also founded and leads the SOLIDWORKS User Group of Nebraska, AKA SwugOne. In addition to that, he is also the SWUGN representative for the Southern USA!
Todd originally became involved with SOLIDWORKS after the company he was working for purchased the software. Though he had experience with other 3D CAD programs, he wanted to become “more involved with the SOLIDWORKS community – sharing tips & tricks, getting to find out how others use the software, and basically getting to meet a lot of other people.” With no local user groups in his neck of the woods, Todd decided to created one, thus resulting in SwugOne.
While he has learned a lot of tips and tricks from his user group, some of the biggest lessons from being a leader can be applied to many aspects of life; “This could easily fill a couple of books – Time management is critical, being flexible & outgoing, as well as a lot of tips for presenting.”
“The SOLIDWORKS User Group Community has become a large part of my life. There are several people that I have met at SOLIDWORKS World that I keep in touch without throughout the years. Jade and I are HUGE fans of SOLIDWORKS World, and I think she puts it best: ‘Coming to SOLIDWORKS World for me is like attending the best high school reunion EVERY YEAR. All of the kids are “The Cool Kids” and all of the Teachers are “The Most Loved Teacher.”’”
Lastly, we asked Todd who his idols are in the engineering industry, and it should come as no surprise that he answered with his fellow community members! “There are several people that I admire within the SOLIDWORKS Community – Most of them are User Group Leaders, Employees, Presenters at SOLIDWORKS World, or a combination of these. The list would be very long, so let’s just say that they are the people that can do something that I can’t do, or those that take what I can do to a whole new level. It also helps to be a good person that wants to include and elevate others.”
Since 1996, SOLIDWORKS User Groups have been a valuable resource for SOLIDWORKS users all over the world. The SWUGN Committee and DS SOLIDWORKS provide ample support, but the real stars are the SOLIDWORKS User Group Leaders. Every week or so, we’ll spotlight one of our group leaders and the local user group chapter that they are responsible for leading